Saturday, October 28, 2006

GLBT DIGEST - October 28, 2006

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Daytona Beach News Journal

All but a word
Jersey gets it mostly right on gay marriage

Couples don't need state approval to know they're married. But every coupledeserves the legal protections that come with a lifelong commitment. Itshouldn't matter whether those couples are male, female or one of each.

The New Jersey Supreme Court didn't put it quite that simply Wednesday --but it did recognize the fundamental unfairness of denying legal status togay and lesbian couples who state their intention to spend the rest of theirlives together.

The court stopped short of saying those couples are entitled to claim theword marriage. But what's in a name? The legal protections spelled out inthe 90-page decision encompass every legal right afforded to married,heterosexual couples. Calling such bonds civil unions instead of marriagesseems merely semantic, especially since many of these unions will be blessedby religious as well as government authority.


The New York Times

Gay Marriage and the G.O.P. Base (4 Letters)

To the Editor:
Re "G.O.P. Moves Fast to Reignite Issue of Gay Marriage" (front page, Oct.27):

What has finally energized the Republican base? Is it outrage that theRepublican leadership badly bungled the war in Iraq and increased theterrorist threat?

No, it's gay marriage. Or, more specifically, their fear that two humans wholove each other and want to get married will destroy "civilized" culture.

So basically, the Republican base fears that love, not war, will destroy ourcountry.

O.K., so we know that this is not rational. Unfortunately, the rest of ushave to take it seriously because the Republican base votes from fear.

It's more important than ever that the rest of us get out and vote forpoliticians who will "stay the course" on issues that truly help our countryprosper.

Kathy Rappaport
Santa Fe, N.M., Oct. 27, 2006



The Miami Herald

Pope: Wounds from clergy abuse run deep

Associated Press

VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI said Saturday that the church musturgently rebuild confidence and trust damaged by clerical sex abusescandals, which have created deep wounds.

The pope made the remarks to a group of visiting bishops from Ireland,an overwhelmingly Roman Catholic nation where the church has been damaged bysex abuse scandals over the past decade.

"In the exercise of your pastoral ministry, you have had to respond inrecent years to many heart-rending cases of sexual abuse of minors," thepontiff told the bishops. "These are all the more tragic when the abuser isa cleric."

"The wounds caused by such acts run deep, and it is an urgent task torebuild confidence and trust where these have been damaged," Benedict said.


Judicial Nominee Says She Did Nothing Wrong Attending Lesbian Wedding
by The Associated Press

October 26, 2006 - 5:00 pm ET

(Washington) A Michigan judge whose nomination to the federal bench isstalled over her appearance at a lesbian commitment ceremony says sheattended as a friend, not to give legal sanction.

The nomination of Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Janet T. Neff to be a U.S.District Court judge is on hold because Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., is notsatisfied with her response to questions about her views on same-sexmarriage, a spokesman for the senator said Thursday.

Neff's status has been in limbo since last month, when Brownback placed hisprocedural hold - using a technique that allows a lone senator to stall anomination. Brownback wanted to know whether there was anything illegal orimproper about the 2002 ceremony in Massachusetts and how Neff's actionsmight shape her judicial philosophy.


The New York Times

October 28, 2006
For Gay Couples, Ruling Has a Cash Value

TRENTON, Oct. 26 - The New Jersey Supreme Court granted gay couples the samerights as married couples this week, leaving it to the State Legislaturewhether to call their partnerships marriages or civil unions.

But for Cynthia and Lucy Vandenberg, the landmark ruling is also aboutanother M-word: money.

The Vandenbergs, who have been partners for 12 years, have been forced toopen their checkbooks repeatedly over the years to pay thousands of dollarsin taxes on health benefits and for legal transactions that married couplesrarely face.

There was the $1,500 to change their surnames, for instance, the $1,400 orso in taxes they paid annually for additional health benefits, and the$1,000 they spent so one could adopt the biological child of the other.

"For all of this, you need to hire an attorney, or you find out the hardway," said Lucy Vandenberg, 37, the director of the state's Council onAffordable Housing.


Clinton Says She's 'Evolved' On Gay Marriage
Special to by Paul Schindler, Gay City News

October 26, 2006 - 9:00 pm ET

(New York City) In an appearance early Wednesday evening in front of roughlythree-dozen LGBT leaders, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton indicated that shewould not oppose efforts by Eliot Spitzer, the odds-on favorite to becomethe new governor, to enact a same-sex marriage law in New York.

She also suggested that language she used when she first ran for the Senatein 2000 explaining her opposition to marriage equality based on theinstitution's moral, religious, and traditional foundations had notreflected the "many long conversations" she's had since with "friends" andothers, and that her advocacy on LGBT issues "has certainly evolved."

On Wednesday, Clinton presented her position on marriage equality as moreone of pragmatism.


The New York Times

Civil Union or Marriage? A Long Wait in New Jersey

TRENTON, Oct. 27 - New Jersey legislators, sorting through the few optionsgiven them by the State Supreme Court's ruling that gay couples be grantedthe full rights and benefits of heterosexual husbands and wives, cautionedtoday that it might take months to decide what to call the solution -marriage or something else.

But the next few months are booked up.

"There's a tremendous confluence of pretty significant issues theLegislature must resolve" within the six months allotted by the court,Albert Porroni, the chief counsel of the Office of Legislative Services,said on Friday. He noted that both the Senate and the Assembly were heavilyscheduled to work on property tax relief until January, and committed tostart working on the budget early next spring. That has stopped somelegislators from beginning to work on possible measures, which they wereinstructed to do by the state's high court on Wednesday.


The Washington Post

The NJ Ruling Was Not "Anti-Marriage"

President Bush Thursday lashed out at the New Jersey Supreme Court forvoting earlier this week to give same-sex couples the same rights asopposite-sex couples when it comes to marriage benefits. "Yesterday, in NewJersey, we had another activist court issue a ruling that raises doubtsabout the institution of marriage," Bush said. The President's message waspart of a concerted effort by the GOP to push the ruling onto the politicalagenda just in time for the election. The Boston Globe this morning reports:"In Pennsylvania, where Rick Santorum , a conservative Republican, isstruggling to keep his Senate seat, the Pennsylvania Family Institute mailedfliers to potential voters, warning that 'homosexual legal activists inPennsylvania and elsewhere will make good on their agenda to exploit rulingslike New Jersey's to force homosexual marriages or marriage benefits on ourcommonwealth.'"


Canadian Postal Workers Walk Out Over Mail Seen As Homophobic
by The Canadian Press

October 26, 2006 - 7:00 pm ET

(Vancouver, British Columbia) Neither rain, nor hail, nor sleet, nor snownor refusal to deliver an anti-gay pamphlet will keep the mail from gettingthrough.

That seemed to be the message Thursday from Canada Post in reacting to abrief walkout over the letter carriers union's refusal to deliver a pamphletthe union regards as ``homophobic'' and ``hate mail.''

The problem began Wednesday when letter carriers at Station F on the city'seast side were told they had to carry the pamphlets or face disciplinaryaction, said Ken Mooney, the Vancouver local president of the Canadian Unionof Postal Workers.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

GAO Pokes Holes In Bush Condom Advice
by The Associated Press

October 23, 2006 - 9:00 pm ET

(Washington) Government auditors reminded the Bush administration Thursdaythat literature distributed by federally funded abstinence programs mustcontain medically accurate information about condoms' effectiveness inpreventing sexually transmitted diseases.

The Government Accountability Office did not make any judgment about theaccuracy of the literature. But the government watchdog did say theDepartment of Health and Human Services is required by law to ensure thatmaterials addressing sexually transmitted diseases "shall contain medicallyaccurate information on condom effectiveness."

The Bush administration has contended that materials prepared by theprograms, which received about $170 million in 2006, did not fall within thescope of the statute.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Polls undercount support for same-sex marriage ban
Measures on 5 state ballots likely to pass despite survey results

- Wyatt Buchanan, Chronicle Staff Writer Friday, October 27, 2006

San Francisco Chronicle

Proponents of measures to prohibit same-sex marriage say New Jersey'sSupreme Court ruling that committed same-sex couples deserve the same rightsas heterosexual couples will motivate voters to pass constitutional bans.

But most of the measures on the Nov. 7 ballot in eight other states alreadyhave strong voter support. In fact, they may be even farther ahead than theyappear, because polling on the issue has been consistently and inexplicablyinaccurate.

Same-sex marriage ban supporters and opponents agree that pre- electionpolls often undercount support for the measures.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Analysis: Implications from NJ's Gay Rights Ruling

October 26, 2006
The Gothamist

With the NJ Supreme Court decision that gay couples should have the samerights as heterosexual couples just one day old, it's still unclear whetheror not New York will accept a NJ same-sex civil union or marriage, though ithas with other states. Mayor Bloomberg said, "New York City has a policy ofaccepting bona-fide marriages from other jurisdictions. I've always believedit's not the government's business whom you marry." And City Council SpeakerQuinn who is openly gay said, "New York State's Legislature must also act toaddress this injustice in New York so that all citizens are treated equallyon both sides of the Hudson River."

Now the next phase is whether or not the Legislature will call same- sexpartnerships "marriage." Gay rights advocates are working on their lobbyingtactics. The Star-Ledger had a good explanation of what the court rulingmeans and what the next steps are.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Gays demand marriage as South Africa weighs 'unions'

Washington Blade

October 27, 2007

PRETORIA - Gay activists are protesting a civil union bill underconsideration as falling short of full marriage rights, IOL reported lastweek. A coalition of gay groups rallied Oct. 17 outside government buildingsin Pretoria to criticize the measure. "The bill allows gay and lesbianpeople to form civil partnerships," Alex Ringelman, a student organizer,told IOL. "However, in our view civil partnerships are not equivalent tomarriage. They entrench institutional segregation in our law and a separate,inferior status for gay relationships." The protesters complained that thecivil union measure was in defiance of a ruling by the country'sconstitutional court that legislation must be adopted according gay couplesthe same legal rights as heterosexual married couples. South Africa'sconstitution is one of the few in the world that expressly promises equalitybased on sexual orientation.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

IN: State GOP pledges to ban gay marriag

State GOP pledges to ban gay marriage
By Mike Smith
of The Associated Press
October 27, 2006

INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana House Republicans pledged Thursday to take the nextstep toward a state constitutional ban on gay marriage if they retain theirmajority after the Nov. 7 election.

House Speaker Brian Bosma said the promise was timely, since it came a dayafter New Jersey's highest court opened the door to making that state thenation's second to allow gay marriage. The court ruled that lawmakers mustoffer same-sex couples either marriage or something like it, such as civilunions.

"If Indiana is going to make a decision to change the definition of marriagein the future, that decision should not be left to an appointed judge,"Bosma, R-Indianapolis, said at a news conference."It should be left to elected legislators and citizens of this state."


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Opinion: Anti SSM Amendment in Old Virginny Tradition ofBlood
Soaked Jim Crow

Another voice: Gay marriage and Old Virginny

George W. Harris, Chancellor Professor of Philosophy at the College of
William and Mary October 27, 2006
Hampton Roads, VA Daily Press

Defenders of a Virginia constitutional ban on gay marriage invoke threethreats to traditional marriage and the social fabric ofsociety: Gay marriages contribute to the breakdown of traditional marriages;they threaten the welfare of children; and, they are "unbiblical." The samedefenders accuse opponents of fear-mongering when they say that theamendment would affect relationships other than homosexual unions,especially unwed heterosexual relationships.

If we take the defenders at their word, they are relieved of the charge ofhaving targets other than gay marriage but embarrassed by some ratherobvious questions.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

First lesbian to compete in Miss Corolla Pageant

by Meredith McNutt
October 27, 2006

On Nov. 10, Southern tradition will be broken and a precedent will be setwhen the first lesbian walks on stage at the 70th Annual Miss CorollaPageant.

Audrey Alexander, 19, a junior majoring in advertising, was selected by theQueer- Straight Alliance to be their representative in the pageant.

"I want to show people that gays are people, too," said Alexander. "I alsowant to promote awareness that lesbians can be girly."

She is an advocate for gay rights and gay awareness and hopes that herexperience in the pageant will help get the message out in the open.